Pruning Away the Less Than that Equals Pride

I was just thinking this morning about my pride and about those who I know who truly have humble hearts.  Two of those humble people are our church custodians; a couple we hire whose profession is cleaning churches.  That is one job that no one notices until it isn’t done well.  Then people will speak.  I’ll be sending a thank you note this week to our H family for a job well done!  I can’t hardly keep up with one house of 3 people.  I can’t imagine how much work and effort it takes to keep one church in shape for all the events, services, weddings, revivals, VBS programs etc. (let alone a number of churches!  YIKES!).   Yet every time I encounter Kent and Coleen, they bless me.  Always smiling, approachable, asking about my family, working hard.  Humble – a great example for me.

God has been working on my pride.  Revealing an ugliness in my heart so that He can work it out.  I loath it.  But it is still there and keeps raising its ugly head.  Some of it, others would kindly call insecurity.  I call it what it is – pride.  On many levels I don’t really care what other people think about me.  But there is something about our culture, and not being employed (because I have chosen off and on to stay home full time to raise our girls and now because God has called me to “Write, Walk, Study, Teach”), that makes me feel less than.  Maybe it was because I was raised to be independent (always be able to take care of yourself, don’t become dependent on a man – get an education kind of thinking).  But at the moment, I am completely dependent on God and His provision through my husband’s hard work.  I hate to admit it but that feels insecure even though I know it is absolutely the most secure place to be.

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor than to divide the spoil with the proud. (Proverbs 16:18-19 ESV)

My pride tries to compensate for that less than feeling.  My pride gets fed and puffed up with social media and compliments.  My pride causes me to think critically and negatively about others.  My pride keeps me from extending grace and mercy.  My pride cause me to speak as if I have all the answers or I know what others should do.  My pride is self-focused. My pride wants more acknowledgement for what I do.  It is ugly and it prevents me from being all that God wants me to be.

The pride of your heart has deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rock, in your lofty dwelling, who say in your heart, “Who will bring me down to the ground?” Though you soar aloft like the eagle, though your nest is set among the stars, from there I will bring you down, declares the LORD. (Obadiah 1:3-4 ESV)

Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the LORD; be assured, he will not go unpunished. (Proverbs 16:5 ESV)

I know who I am in Christ.  Because of this solid foundation, God is now able to take away bits and pieces of this pride as I see it for what it is, confess it to Him and repent.  My pride is based on falsehood; erroneous thinking.  That feeling of less than is a lie.  With a right understanding of who God is and who I am, humility is able to replace the pride.  God graciously reveals lies so that we are able to accept His truth.  Standing before a just and holy God seems to very quickly humble His children.  Now, whenever my pride starts to raise its head, I remember who God is and quickly repent with the help of His Holy Spirit.  For those of you in my life, I give you full permission to lovingly tell me when you see my pride.  Let us be iron sharpening iron for God’s glory.

Father God, thank You for showing me what needs to be pruned away.  Thank You for not leaving me where I am.  Help me become more like Jesus.  Let me look only to You for my identity, not to what I do for a living or who I am married to, or what my bank account says, or who my friends are.  I want to have a humble heart that brings glory to You Lord.  Thank You for forgiving my sins. Amen.

Be honest with yourself.  See yourself for who you are in God’s eyes.  Believe what God says about you, not what the world says about you.  Work with God and prune away the things that are holding you back from becoming like Jesus.  Allow God’s love for you to shape your heart.  He alone is true and faithful.  Our righteousness comes from Him.  Hallelujah!

God wants better for you than you want for yourself.  Rejoice with the truth. Be encouraged.  Press on.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV)

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